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December/January issue, Volume 2, Issue 1

40 GbE technology: Hurry up and wait

40 GbE hardware is here, but enterprises aren’t adopting it. What needs to happen to push the networking standard into prime time? Believe it or not, the 40 Gigabit Ethernet era is already upon us. The standard has long since been ratified, and products are shipping. But for the time being, 40 Gigabit Ethernet is having trouble moving out of first gear. As data centers virtualize more of their servers and storage, the need for speedy network connections increases. But something happened on the way from 10 Gigabit Ethernet to 40 GbE: IT departments are sticking with the status quo and are taking their time upgrading their connections. A few reasons for the delay include existing wiring infrastructure, where these faster Ethernet switches are placed on networks, slower adoption of 10 GbE (which has been mostly on servers) and the preponderance of copper gigabit network connections. The standards for 40 GbE have been around for more than a year, and a number of routers, switches, and network cards already operate at this speed. ...

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